A feedback apparatus for an operator to control an effector that is remote from the operator to interact with a remote environment has a local input device to be manipulated by the operator. Sensors in the effector's environment are capable of sensing the amplitude of forces arising between the effector and its environment, the direction of application of such forces, or both amplitude and direction. A feedback signal corresponding to such a component of the force, is generated and transmitted to the environment of the operator. The signal is transduced into a vibrotactile sensory substitution signal to which the operator is sensitive. Vibration producing apparatus present the vibrotactile signal to the operator. The full range of the force amplitude may be represented by a single, mechanical vibrator. Vibrotactile display elements can be located on the operator's limbs, such as on the hand, fingers, arms, legs, feet, etc. The location of the application of the force may also be specified by the location of a vibrotactile display on the operator's body. Alternatively, the location may be specified by the frequency of a vibrotactile signal.